Eugene Cho

$700,000 in debt and never been so excited to hear from the IRS

eugene matrix

Last week, I shared a post about fear entitled, Do Not Be Afraid: Dream, Pursue, & Jump.  And one of my readers, Matt S., doctored one of my photos to give me Neo-like skills.

For the past year, my biggest fear has been this burden and conviction that I feel God has placed upon my soul to engage the fight against extreme global poverty through the birth of a new organization.

I have been kicking myself for going public with the vision about a year ago. There’s been hiccups, setbacks, criticisms, and plenty of self doubt but after a year since sharing our vision and starting a group on FacebookI’ll finally be sharing the name of our organization, current logo, and our vision and fundraising letter this Friday.

As usual, I’m both excited and scared and covet your prayers.

I came home yesterday having doubts if I was ready to share the vision but lo and behold, I received my confirmation in the mail.  We finally received our 501(c)(3) issuance from the Internal Revenue Services:

We are pleased to inform you that upon review of your application for tax exempt status we have determined that you are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions to you are deductible…

Cool timing. [My wife’s response after learning we got the green light from the IRS: “Now, you can finally cut your hair!”]

I want to publicly thank our organization’s lawyer, Nat Taylor, from Ellis, Li & McKinstry.  He is a fabulous non-profit lawyer and if you’re looking for someone to help with your organization, I highly recommend him.  It’s a worthwhile financial investment – which I should have taken from the beginning.

In addition, our poverty Facebook group has now surpassed 700,000 people. Truthfully, I’ve never been so excited to be $700,000 in debt but if our vision catches on, we’re excited to be able to invest those funds and more in people and organizations who are doing some amazing work.

If you haven’t done so, subscribe to the blog RSS feed or check back on Friday to learn more about our vision and how we intend to do our part to fight extreme global poverty. Even if you don’t have any interest in making a donation to help make some initial investments in our organization, I’d love for you to read what we’re trying to do.

And now, the real hard labor begins…

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32 Responses

  1. djterasaki says:

    congratulations PE! very good news!

  2. Andrea says:

    This is wonderful news!!

  3. gracex2 says:

    wonderful wonderful news, pastor Eugene! God bless you and Minhee for your faithfulness and obedience. This is very exciting news!

  4. teresa says:

    Too cool! I know you’re gonna make a difference!

  5. gar says:

    congrats! what a blessing.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Yay! Congratulations! Our God is so faithful.

    And yes, finally you can cut your hair! We are all with Minhee on that one!

  7. minna says:

    yoopee!!!!
    sooooo excited for the next step in this journey of yours! and i say …. keep the hair. it ain’t so bad!

  8. jHong says:

    me and samohnim are on the same page! that was my first thought too!!! can i be the one to schedule an appointment? or should i just bring some shears and clippers into the office today??? 😉

  9. Daniel Azuma says:

    Congratulations Pastor E! Wonderful news!

  10. la v says:

    congrats p.e.!! praise God!

  11. amen! that’s great man; way to persevere. “God is not done with us” is what one friend recently said 😉 sounds like your own words are a fitting encouragement for your endeavor.

    and let me know if I can help in any way.

  12. eunice =) says:

    this requires a..

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!

  13. Jenny says:

    Eugene, this is such fantastic news! God’s timing is perfect! God bless you!

  14. Bo says:

    Congratulations! Way to persevere.

    I’m pretty good at cutting AZ’s hair. I just stick a no. 2 on the buzzer and just go at it. I’d be happy to do yours for free. I could even get you back to your wedding look!

  15. Maxine says:

    Congratulations Eugene~! When we follow what the Lord puts on our hearts, how can we fail? Inspires me to pursue what the Lord is burdening my heart with…

  16. Darwin says:

    Rock On. Now the party can really get started 🙂

  17. Pam says:

    Congratulations PE and Minhee! Can’t wait to see the haircut 🙂

  18. eugenecho says:

    @everyone:

    minhee didn’t read the fine print. i said i’d cut the hair once we “officially launched” the org. 🙂

  19. leochen says:

    re: the haircut. I can refer you to a good barber… me! and I know only one style…

  20. eugene- supporting that massive bush of hair in back must be making your neck muscles stronger. seems like a backwards way to go about strength training, but I do appreciate your creativity.

  21. That is great news! It’s so great to know everything is official. I am really looking forward to being a part of this movement and following along on this journey…

  22. daniel so says:

    Eugene – Congrats! What a journey it’s already been. Can’t wait to see the impact you’ll make.

    For the record, I’m putting my vote in for a man-perm. With the length of your hair, it’ll be a pretty massive blowout 🙂

  23. johnlunt says:

    Congratulations. I’m following on facebook. I look forward to more on this. I’ve worked with the homeless and others. I think an initiative like this takes a lot of faith and I’m sure God will honor it.

    http://www.squidoo.com/gospelpoverty

  24. Mario says:

    Congratulations.

  25. Tyler says:

    looking forward to friday.

  26. Liz VerHage says:

    congrats Eugene! I am excited to see where it heads and totally get the balancing act that faith, fear, and following the pursuit of justice into the dark sometimes requires. I am praying for your work! 🙂

  27. Joseph Lee says:

    well looks like its time get some work done eh?

  28. The Chiz says:

    Let’s make Poverty AND Mr. Smith History!

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One Day’s Wages

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41 years ago today, our family immigrated to the United States from Seoul, South Korea. I was six years old; the youngest of three sons. My father, when he was also six, fled from what is now known as North Korea. Just recently, he shared with me that he and some of his family had been in a refugee camp when war and violence broke out on the Korean peninsula. It's emotional thinking about what my brothers and I went through coming to a completely foreign country. It wasn't easy. And then, I think about what my parents had to go through:

They fled their homes near Pyongyang which also meant leaving some of their extended families.

They experienced unfathomable hunger and poverty.

They experienced the pain of war.

They immigrated again to the United States as adults with minimal resources and a handful of English words.

All in hopes that their children would have the opportunities that were never afforded to them.

I'm thinking of my brothers today. I'm thinking of my parents and honoring them for their sacrifice and tenacity. And finally, I'm thinking of refugees and immigrants all around the world that are yearning for family, peace, hope, and opportunities. Don't reduce Martin Luther King Jr. to a yearly quote on social media. Live out the dream. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Confront evil. Be a truth-teller. Seek justice. Love mercy. Pursue reconciliation. Build bridges. Love your neighbors. Forgive your enemies. Pray unceasingly. Live a committed life of peace, love, and justice.

The God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today.

Be brave. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's the full context of his famous quote: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." An important word for the Church... Oh, how God loves the nations. The Scriptures make this so clear. No one - let alone, the leader of a country - should ever disparage other nations with such a disgusting comment.

To the beautiful people of Haiti, El Salvador, and of the many countries of Africa: We are so sorry. Please accept our apologies on behalf of President Trump.

I've had the privilege of being in Haiti twice and numerous countries in Africa including Kenya where I took this picture during an afternoon drive near Kijabe. In many of these visits, I witnessed such creativity, courage, leadership, hospitality and kindness. To follow Jesus without obedience, repentance, self-denial, and dying to self is an oxymoron. In other words, are we more in love with the idea of following Jesus than actually following Jesus?

Grateful for an incredible Sunday at @seattlequest of beginning our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting.

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